The Principal of Responsible Government
Saskatchewan Curriculum Objectives
Grade 12 Objectives (History 30)
Unit 1: Relationships: People and Paradigms
Foundational Objective 3
Know that within every society, there will exist a contest among
groups to gain influence over the societal decision-making processes.
Core Concepts: Decision Making
Know that the colonizing powers were determined to institute
their decision-making paradigm on their colonies in North America.
Know that colonial decision making was the prerogative of the
governing European power rather than either the residents of
the colonies or the First Nations.
Core Concepts: Sovereignty
Core Concepts: Responsible Government
Know that the process leading to the implementation of responsible
government involved an active debate among competing ideological
paradigms, each defining the relationship between the individual
and the societal decision-making processes and institutions.
Know that responsible government permits those who govern to
administer laws on the basis of the authority they obtain from
the elected representatives of the general population.
Core Concepts: Representative Government
Know that representative government is practised when the public
elects persons to act on its behalf in deliberations surrounding
political decision making.
Know that those elected representatives are periodically accountable
to the public.
Core Concepts: Loyalists
Know that half of the Loyalists migrated north to British North
America and significantly influenced the political evolution
of British North America.
Know that the Loyalists expected to retain their existing political
rights, including representative government, upon their migration
to British North America.
Core Concepts: Oligarchy
Know that an oligarchy is a political structure in which societal
decision making is controlled by a small group of individuals.
Know that political and economic elites held significant control
over the decision-making processes in both Upper Canada and
Lower Canada, and were reluctant to entertain meaningful political
Know that members and supporters of the economic and political
elites in early nineteenth century British North America were
often referred to as "Tories."
Core Concepts: Reformers
Know that between 1820 and 1850, reform movements emerged in
all the British North American colonies, and competed for influence
over the political decision-making processes and institutions.
Know that Canadian reformers believed that society needed a
government that represented the interests of the general population,
not a wealthy elite.
Know that reformers believed that government should be held
accountable to the general populace by means of an elected assembly
and periodic elections.